Tag Archives: shannon estuary

Quadrupling Kerry’s canals

I thought there was only one canal in Co Kerry, but there were three more at Lixnaw. They’re still to be seen and they have interesting associations.

Thanks to Ewan Duffy of Industrial Heritage Ireland for the tip-off.

White flour

A few minutes past two o’clock in the evening of Wednesday, the 6th instant, the Dover Castle left Glin [that should read Limerick] for Tarbert, with between 30 and 40 persons on board, including some of the Glin police.

shannon-estuary-osi-02

The route of the Dover Castle (OSI 25″ ~1900)

When she reached the pool, she took a large brig and a schooner in tow, which she took as far as Grass Island. She then continued her course, and when about three miles west of Ring Moylan quay, a thick fog came like a wall upon her, so that it was impossible to see half the length of the deck.

Captain White immediately dropped anchor, and was obliged to remain so. The fog continuing all night and the next day.

About two o’clock on Thursday, there being no appearance of the fog clearing off, and several persons on board having eaten nothing since Wednesday morning, two women fainted, and the circumstance having been communicated to the captain, he immediately ordered the steward to open a bag of flour, and served it out in large buckets to the women, who, in a short time, had large cakes made, and baked them for the passengers.

At half-past four o’clock the fog began to clear, and at five the steamer weighed anchor, and reached Kilrush in safety.

Statesman and Dublin Christian Record
19 January 1841 quoting Limerick Standard

My OSI logo and permit number for website

From the BNA

Irish Times headline

Plane sailing: Boeing 767 travels up Shannon to new home

Link here (until it disappears behind a paywall).

That should read “… travels up (for certain values of ‘up’) …”.

This follows the IT‘s recent identification of the canal at Allenwood as the Royal Canal.

Ou sont les subeditors de yesteryear?

They’re not working for [HM] Independent, though, which recently produced this wonderful headline:

Beetle Dune: VW’s peon to the Baja bugs of yore will cost from £21,300

Perhaps it’s a comment on working conditions in the Mexican car industry.

 

The crimefighting Shannon steamer

Limerick, May 26. This morning the Lady of the Shannon steam yacht towed up, in grand style, the Fox cutter, captured by the Vandeleur Revenue cruizer, Capt Hopkins, as stated in our last. She lies at the Custom-house quay, is a very fine vessel, clinker built, pierced for eight guns, which were thrown overboard, in chase, and is remarkably well found. Her cargo is supposed to consist of 1000 gallons of highly rectified Geneva, in 10 gallon casks — 20 hogsheads of tobacco, in bales and half-bales — and a large quantity of teas — amount not yet ascertained.

Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser 5 June 1818 [quoting Irish Papers]. From the British Newspaper Archive run by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited, in partnership with the British Library.

Mr Mullins’s steamer

Here is a little information about the steamer Cupid, which was owned or used by the contractor Bernard Mullins on the Shannon in the 1840s.

Ballylongford (and Inishmurray/Cahircon)

SHANNON-RIVER. This is by far the most considerable river in Ireland, or perhaps in any known island, not only on account of its rolling 200 miles, but also of its great depth in most places, and the gentleness of its current, by which it might be made exceedingly serviceable to the improvement of the country, the communication of its inhabitants, and consequently the promoting inland trade, through the greater part of its long course, being navigable to a considerable distance, with a few interruptions only of rocks and shallows, to avoid which there are in general small canals cut, to preserve and continue the navigation.

Thus Wm Wenman Seward, Esq [correspondent of Thomas Jefferson], in his Topographica Hibernica; or the topography of Ireland, antient and modern. Giving a complete view of the civil and ecclesiastical state of that kingdom, with its antiquities, natural curiosities, trade, manufactures, extent and population. Its counties, baronies, cities, boroughs, parliamentary representation and patronage; antient districts and their original proprietors. Post, market, and fair towns; bishopricks, ecclesiastical benefices, abbies, monasteries, castles, ruins, private-seats, and remarkable buildings. Mountains, rivers, lakes, mineral-springs, bays and harbours, with the latitude and longitude of the principal places, and their distances from the metropolis, and from each other. Historical anecdotes, and remarkable events. The whole alphabetically arranged and carefully collected. With an appendix, containing some additional places and remarks, and several useful tables printed by Alex Stewart, Dublin, 1795. [Google it if you want a copy.]

Seward was one of many people who saw the Shannon as a valuable resource, even if they were vague on how it was to yield a return. I was reminded of that on reading the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for the Shannon Estuary 2013–2020: an inter-jurisdictional land and marine based framework to guide the future development and management of the Shannon Estuary. The Introduction includes this:

The Shannon Estuary is an immensely important asset and one of the most valuable natural resources in Ireland and the Mid-West Region in particular — the fringe lands and the marine area both provide space and location for development, activities and opportunities to progress economic, social and environmental growth within the Region.

This report is an attempt to show how the estuary could deliver a return. The core point seems to be that a small number of areas are designated as “Strategic Development Locations for marine related industry and large scale industrial development”, thus protecting them from the attentions of the environmentalists: the whole of the estuary is a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area.

Almost all the Strategic Development Locations are already industrialied in some way:

  • Limerick Docks (in Limerick city)
  • Ballylongford (of which more below)
  • Tarbert (power station)
  • Aughinish Island (alumina)
  • Askeaton (Nestlé)
  • Foynes Island and land to the rear of Foynes (main port on the estuary)
  • Moneypoint (power station).

There is one more, Inishmurry/Cahircon (which is not boring), which is even more interesting because there is no industry there at present. It was used as a resting place for certain vessels, but it was also proposed as the site for an explosives factory. Perhaps the designation as a Strategic Development Location suggests that that proposal is not dead but merely sleeping.

Ballylongford is equally lacking in industry, despite activity at Saleen in the early nineteenth century. However, Shannon Development assembled a large landbank nearby; the report’s Executive Summary says:

The Ballylongford Landbank benefits from a significant deepwater asset and extant permission for a major LNG bank.

Here is the area in question. Note that the red oval is just to indicate the rough location; it does not show the boundaries of the landbank.

Ballylongford (OSI ~1840)

Ballylongford (OSI ~1840)

You can see a proper map and a marked-up aerial photo in Volume 1 of the report [PDF] on page 73 (77/174).

Shannon Development agreed to give a purchase option on a little uder half of the site to Shannon LNG Ltd, which proposed to build a liquefied natural gas terminal there, to be supplied by ship; much information is available here.

The Commission for Energy Regulation decided to introduce charges that would have increased Shannon LNG’s costs; the company took the matter to court but, yesterday, lost its case. The Irish Times report here will probably disappear behind a paywall at some stage; the Irish Independent report is here and the Limerick Leader‘s here (its photo shows Tarbert and Moneypoint; the Ballylongford site is off to the left).

If the Ballylongford development does not proceed, plans for economic growth on the Shannon estuary may prove to be for the birds.

My OSI logo and permit number for website

The Colleen Bawn …

… is buried at Killimer.

Steamer for sale (171 years ago)

The ad for the sale of the Shannon Estuary steamer Dover Castle in 1840.

Diesel, gas, turf or battery?

The Irish Times tells us that Endesa, a Spanish company, intends to sell its Irish operations. They include two water-side sites, at Great Island in Co Wexford and Tarbert in Co Kerry, as well as a near miss in Rhode, Co Offaly, and a fourth in Co Mayo.

The Great Island power station on the Suir opposite Cheekpoint

The Irish Times says that Endesa had intended to change Great Island and Tarbert from diesel to natural gas. The Tarbert project received planning permission in December 2010; the Irish Times report was probably inaccurate in suggesting that a submarine cable from Tarbert would supply the ESB generating station at Moneypoint which, being a generating station, would be able to generate its own.

The old Tarbert power station

However, I had heard that Tarbert might have received its natural gas from the proposed storage plant at Ballylongford, near Saleen Pier whence Trinity College turf was sent to Limerick. A pipe from Tarbert might have supplied Moneypoint. I don’t think construction has yet begun.

The old Tarbert power station was built on the site of the Tarbert battery, the largest of the six Shannon estuary batteries and the only one to mount seven guns.

 

Rowing

Big it up for the Irish Amateur Rowing Union (aka Rowing Ireland), which will be descending the Lower Shannon in May. Good to see that they’ll be doing the estuary, as fas as Bunratty, and are not confining themselves to non-tidal waters.

Bunratty

F E Prothero would be proud of them: he himself thought it best to see the estuary from the deck of the steamer to Kilrush.